Nissan says it can make the Prius look like a pig, BMW jumps on the best kept secret of iPhone 4, the new traffic tool coming soon to your Blackberry, make the Acura TL less ugly, and we drive the Goldilocks of BMW's: The 335is.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 176 SHOW NOTES
BMW announced on Wednesday its intent to support what is probably the most obscure and overlooked new feature in Apple's iOS 4: iPod Out. This feature allows a connected iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, or iPod Touch (second or third generation) to output and display an iPod interface on a connected device's external screen. That device, in this case, would be a future BMW or Mini vehicle.
Rather than displaying BMW or Mini's iPod interface, the connected vehicle would display Apple's own interface, which will be controllable with the vehicle's controls. Users will be … Read more
BMW upcoming Megacity electric vehicle will be the world's first volume-produced car with a passenger cell made from carbon fiber, according to the company.
The automaker divides the Megacity's architecture into two major modules, which it dubs Life and Drive. The Life module consists of the high-strength, lightweight passenger cell. According to the company, by constructing the cell of carbon fiber reinforced plastic it is able to reduce the weight of the Megacity vehicle to offset the extra 550 pounds to 770 pounds of mass the heavy battery packs and other electric drive components typically add to … Read more
DETROIT--As the era of the electrified car shifts into second gear, a central question looms: Can electric vehicles gain mass acceptance despite their limited range? Or must electric cars have gasoline range-extenders so the car can meet all its owner's needs?
And Nissan, BMW, and General Motors have different approaches to that crucial issue. BMW's Rich Steinberg says drivers find they love the electric Mini E, whose 100-mile range handles nearly all daily driving needs.
But at GM, Micky Bly, approaching the launch of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, says automakers must go beyond early adopters and sell a car that can handle the weekend trip as well as the daily commute.
"I feel strongly the early-adopter movement is done in North America," Bly, GM's executive director for global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries, told the Automotive News Green Car Conference/Exhibition here last week. The early-adopters market soon will be sated in Asia and Europe, too, he said.
Bly is in charge of the Volt, which is scheduled to arrive in October or November. He touts the Volt's gasoline generator as the way to attract mainstream buyers. If there were any doubt about GM's position, Bly's presentation included a slide saying: "The mass market EV has to be CAPABLE of being your primary vehicle."
"I think pure battery electric vehicles--they're not going to be niche vehicles, but they're not going to be a primary vehicle," Bly said in an interview. … Read more
Taking the concept of the mobile office a step further, BMW is including BlackBerry smartphone integration with its vehicles starting in September with its 2011 BMW models.
Using Bluetooth, many smartphones can already sync contacts, photos, music, and offer voice activated functionality and text-to-voice capability for text messages while driving. However, in addition to the usual smartphone feature list, BMW's ConnectedDrive gives its vehicles the capability to read out loud incoming e-mail messages from compatible BlackBerry smartphones.
Using the iDrive control interface that's on models equipped with Assist, Bluetooth, and onboard navigation, occupants of a BMW can … Read more
The only thing that sells out more quickly than the latest iPhone is an M3 coupe with a custom paint job.
In only 12 minutes, 30 aficionados filled up the registration slots to buy the 2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupes, with at least 50 others as backups should any of the reservation holders fail to buy the 414-hp limited-edition cars, which will ship later this month.
Bragging rights aside, the only thing separating these cars from comparably equipped 2011 BMW M3 Coupes is the paint job and dual-leather interior. While conventional exteriors have gloss finishes, these 25th-anniversary coupes have … Read more
Current in-vehicle navigation systems are good at getting you from door to door, but BMW's next-generation MicroNavigation could tell you where to go once you're behind the door.
MicroNavigation provides detailed maps and directions of complex enclosed structures. This last-mile navigation solution is designed to save you time when looking for the absolute shortest route to your airport ticketing gate, or to help you find your car in a crowded parking lot.
It's part of BMW's ConnectedDrive, and is currently being tested in the 3-series in Germany. Before a trip, drivers look up their destination on … Read more
More gentleman than sportsman, BMW's big 7-series is a refined luxury driver, comfortable for long highway cruises but not quite the cornering pro as its stable mates. We enjoyed the solid driving feel, the lush maps on the navigation system, and the very nice-sounding stereo as we covered the miles.
The car is also available with a good set of driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control and night vision. But we couldn't figure out why BMW limits its top sedan to a six-speed transmission, when the 550i Gran Turismo gets an eight-speed.
If you're buying a $103,000 hybrid, you're probably not too worried about tax incentives, but hey, in this economy every little bit of savings helps, right?
And a little bit is exactly what you'll get--the IRS announced that the 455 hp 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 qualifies for a $900 tax credit. Which is almost like getting a one percent discount on the car, except that a one percent would be an improvement--$900 is more like a 0.0087 percent discount on the super luxe car. But hey, at least it covers the … Read more
We think of SUVs as lumbering beasts rolling sedately down the road, approaching slight turns with trepidation lest there top-heavy bodies tip them. However, a few models stand apart. They can tear through corners as if they were plot twists on Lost. We found five SUVs that, despite their bulky bodies and high riding style, handle better than most cars do.
Technically, all of these vehicles are crossovers. Although they have typically SUV-like bodies, they all have a unibody, rather than body-on-frame, design. Having a unibody construction helps them with handling, but all of these vehicles use technology to … Read more